As local foodies take advantage of New Haven Restaurant Week, the Elm City is welcoming three new eateries to the city’s food scene.
Within the last month, New Haven has celebrated the opening of three new establishments: South Bay, a family-owned Mediterranean restaurant; Milkcraft, a Connecticut-based dessert chain that specializes in made-to-order ice cream frozen with liquid nitrogen; and Freskos, a fast-casual restaurant that serves authentic Greek cuisine. All of the restaurants are located in and near downtown.
“People come to experience our award-winning restaurants during the promotion, and we hope that they’ll come back to museums, concert halls, shops and theaters,” Anna Worcester, the founder of New Haven Restaurant Week, told the News. “We really encourage diners to experience many of the other assets of New Haven.”
The businesses opened just before the city’s 22nd installment of New Haven Restaurant Week, when nearly 30 restaurants will offer $17 lunch and $31 dinner fixed price multicourse menus from April 7 to 12. South Bay is the only one of the city’s three latest additions that will participate.
South Bay, which is located on 228 College St., is a full-service restaurant and bar, offering unique and modern Mediterranean cuisine with influences from around the globe.
Vicente Siguenza, one of South Bay’s four owners -— who are all from the same family — said in a press release on Monday that after seeing the success of his sister restaurant, Harvest Wine Bar and Restaurant on Chapel Street, their decision to expand their presence in downtown New Haven was “easy.” He noted that the Elm City is a culturally and culinarily diverse city.
The restaurant held its official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, where they were joined by representatives from Yale University Properties.
Lauren Zucker, the University’s associate vice president for New Haven affairs and University properties, echoed Siguenza’s excitement for the opening.
“We are delighted to expand our relationship with the Siguenza family as they continue to broaden the vibrant New Haven culinary scene,” Zucker said. “Yale University’s community investment program supports independently-owned businesses, bringing jobs to New Haven residents and expanding the city’s tax base.”
For a more casual alternative, local foodies can head over to Freskos — located on 21 Whitney Ave. After dinner, local residents and visiting restaurant-goers can enjoy a tasty dessert at Milkcraft, which recently celebrated the opening of its 1,500-square-foot space on 280 Crown St.
Peter Vouras, the owner of Freskos — the Greek word for “fresh” — knows truly authentic Greek food. Vouras created many of his menu items with the help of his grandmother’s recipes, and he said the restaurant incorporates a lot of his family’s history.
Freskos’ menu ranges from full meals of gyros, souvlaki and greek salad, to lighter fares like grape leaves and hummus. During Freskos’ lunch hours on Mondays, customers can listen to music by a musician playing the bouzouki, a Greek guitar-like instrument.
Vouras, an actor and comedian, has appeared in shows like “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” and was a stage manager on the set of Spider Man II. Performing as an actor, he said, taught him a lot about the restaurant business, as he worked in dozens of restaurants in New York and Los Angeles while he was in between roles.
“As an actor, you work in a ton of restaurants to survive, so I just thought, why not give somebody a little bit of my heritage?” Vouras told the News. “It just made sense because I wanted to be able to work for myself and I knew a lot about the restaurant business.”
Vouras said he plans to grow Freskos beyond its current Hamden and New Haven locations, as he believes it is a good fit for a college town. He said Freskos is perfect for college students, as it is a fast, casual, affordable option for students looking for “really good, healthy food.” Freskos is currently available on Snackpass, and is available for delivery via Uber Eats, GrubHub and Doordash.
New Haven Restaurant Week was established in 2008 and occurs twice a year.
Carolin Moore | email@example.com